The Dynasty Warriors series is an iconic hack-and-slash video game franchise that has been churning out new games across several console generations. In 2013, developer Koei worked alongside Nintendo to create Hyrule Warriors, a collaborative action game featuring characters from the Legend of Zelda franchise within a Dynasty Warriors fighting system. The game was a blast to play and is just one of many Koei collaborations. The most recent of these is the latest Attack on Titan game, which releases this week on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, PlayStation 3, and PS Vita. The game is already receiving high marks and looks to be the best Attack on Titan game yet.
The new Attack on Titan game retains many signature Warriors elements. For example, there are several different heroes to choose from, each with unique combat style and abilities. Fan favorites such as Eren and Mikasa are all here. There are also several allies on the battlefield at any given time, just as pioneered in Dynasty Warriors. Helping out allies and completing side quests can influence the flow of battle just as in other Musou games (as the franchise is known in Japan).
At the same time, the new game manages to change the Dynasty Warriors formula up quite a bit to fit the AoT universe. Instead of fighting endless waves of lesser enemies, you face off against only a few of the monstrous Titans. Utilizing your Omni-Directional Mobility Gear, you zip around the battlefield attempting to get the perfect angle to dart in for the kill by attacking the Titans’ one known weak spot at the nape of their necks. Attack on Titan‘s traversal system really gives it a unique feel that sets it apart from the Warriors series, which is exactly what Producer Hisashi Koinuma and developer Omega Force were going for.
The launch of Attack on Titan this week leads us to ask the question, what other established video game series could use the Dynasty Warriors treatment? Let’s dream about some of the “what-if” franchises for Omega Force to tackle next.
If Nintendo decided to pick another franchise to give a Dynasty Warriors coat of paint, Fire Emblem would be the easy choice. Fire Emblem games feature wide-scale conflicts between armies, with powerful, memorable leaders ordering specialized units around the battlefield. The major party members of Fire Emblem would transfer seamlessly to the general role in Dynasty Warriors. With the wide variety of character classes available, the general’s class could determine the type of units he leads into battle as well. It’d be fun to add a little bit of strategy to the established hack-and-slash formula.
While most Dynasty Warriors games focus entirely on melee combat, it would be a blast to see a major first-person shooter series translated into an action-packed, hack-and-slash style game. The Halo series is a sci-fi powerhouse, with in-depth lore and gameplay systems that could lead to an entertaining experience. Players could take the role of Spartans and lead their USNC units into battle. The game would feature a mix of both long-range and melee combat, with weapons like the Rocket Launcher and Energy Sword doing massive damage. Spartan Abilities from the newer games would give players special moves and maneuvers whenever the action gets a bit too hectic. Combine all that with the Halo roster of land and air vehicles and you’ve got the perfect action experience.
The ninja backdrop and jutsu system of Naruto would meld perfectly with Dynasty Warriors. The Naruto Ninja Storm fighting game series allows players to battle one-on-one with a diverse roster of major characters in the anime/manga series. It’s easy to imagine Naruto, Sasuke, or Kakashi leading armies of lower-ranked ninja into large-scale battles. Each leader could utilize their special jutsu to help clear waves of enemies. The major conflicts of Naruto, such as the Third Shinobi World War, could be a blast to recreate. Not to mention the sheer destructive power of the Tailed Beasts could result in some frantic boss encounters. One Piece got its own Musou game, so why not Naruto?
The Star Wars: Battlefront games give players the chance to be a Rebel or Imperial soldier on the ground in large-scale conflicts, and may allow you to control your favorite Star Wars heroes for a few minutes at a time — if you manage to collect the right power-up. But what if Star Wars was given a more action-packed take on large-scale battles? Imagine taking control of powerful Jedi or Sith lords in major galactic conflicts, leading lesser troops into battle and mowing down weak enemies foolish enough to get in your way as you re-enact the never-ending war between the Dark and Light side of the Force raging across several iconic planets in the Star Wars universe. The endless Force abilities and the focus on lightsaber combat would allow the game to set itself apart from the Battlefront games, and perfectly fit the Dynasty Warriors engine.
League of Legends
League of Legends is known for its extremely technical play and diverse range of playable champions, and the game is immensely popular on the competitive circuit. However, the competitive nature of League certainly isn’t for everyone, so re-purposing its expansive cast and intriguing lore into a hack-and-slash game would be an interesting take. Players could choose their favorite Champion and lead hordes of minions against other Champions. The stages of League would easily translate into large scale battlefields as well. The web of paths of Summoner’s Rift would give players and enemies plenty of choices for how to best attack the enemy Nexus. A game like this would finally give non-competitive gamers the chance to fall in love with the universe and lore of League of Legends.
A version of this article was originally published on March 23, 2016.